Harsher Penalties Proposed For Drunk Drivers

Submitted by New Jersey DWI Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark

New Jersey boasts the lowest per capita rates of vehicle deaths caused by alcohol in the country. However there is still a push to make penalties harsher by Governor Chris Christie.

Proposed Penalties for New Jersey DUI Offenses

His proposals include widespread use of ignition interlock devices and longer periods of license suspension. Ignition interlock devices are devices that you must blow into before your car starts. If you’re drunk the car won’t start. Seems simple enough but the device can be embarrassing to explain passengers and is thought to have a Scarlet Letter effect by embarrassing drunk drivers. There are even companies that design specially-made portable cups that conceal the device. But, Governor Christie doesn’t think these devices alone are enough to adequately punish and deter first time offenders. Below is an outline of his recommendations which are based on number of offenses and BAC:

  • 1st offense .08-.10% BAC

o   existing fines/detention

o   suspended license 3 months

o   interlock device 3-6 months

  • 1st offense .10-.15% BAC

o   existing fines/detention

o   suspended license 7-12 months

o   interlock device 6-12 months

  • 1st offense .15% + BAC

o   existing fines/detention

o   suspended license 7-12 months

o   interlock device 12-18 months

  • 2nd offense .08%+ BAC

o   existing fines/imprisonment (within 10 years is 48 hours to 90 days)

o   suspended license 2 years

o   interlock device 18 months to 4 years

  • 3rd offense .08%+ BAC

o   existing fines/imprisonment (within 10 years is 180 days mandatory)

o   suspended license 10 years

o   interlock period 18 months to 4 years

  • Refusing Breathalyzer

o   interlock device (length dependant on DWI history)

Read the entire proposed bill with the harsher drunk driving penalties.

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